Ready for Microsoft Ignite? Event Maven Tips to Rock It!

Ready for Microsoft Ignite? Event Maven Tips to Rock It!

#MSIgnite 2018 will be the third Microsoft Ignite I’ve attended (my first TechEds were Barcelonaand Dallas, TX in 2003). Microsoft Ignite is Microsoft’s largest ITPro/Dev event of the year featuring hundreds of technical sessions and hands-on workshops, a massive expo floor, tons of parties and, something I am very proud to be a part of, a whole track devoted to learning about and fostering Diversity and Inclusion. 

As an Event Maven who used to produce these events for Microsoft, I know a few ins and outs to get the most knowledge, networking, and fun out of it. 

Here are some tips & tricks to help you create a productive and memorable Microsoft Ignite experience.

Where’s my super suit?!? — San Diego @Comic_Con 2018 #SDCC @mattnixtv @themelalee @ericalindbeck @TabBEP

Where’s my super suit?!? — San Diego @Comic_Con 2018 #SDCC @mattnixtv @themelalee @ericalindbeck @TabBEP

As a lover of comic books, graphic novels, artists, superheroes movies and TV series I’m giddy about being involved with this project. Who hasn’t spun around like Wonder Woman as a young girl or maybe, um, yesterday? To see her and so many other brilliant superheroes in print, in cool TV series and on the big screen bringing justice to the world makes my heart sing.

Thrilled to announce that I’m moderating my first education/how to panel at this year’s San Diego Comic Con with an amazing group of panelists.

Maven Moments at #SPC18 - SharePoint Conference is Back

Maven Moments at #SPC18 - SharePoint Conference is Back

What a week. May has traditionally been a big month for SharePoint, and the SharePoint Conference NA was chock full of announcements.

Going to SharePoint Conference North America? Check out the Diversity & Inclusion Program

Going to SharePoint Conference North America? Check out the Diversity & Inclusion Program

Announcing the Inaugural SharePoint Conference North America 2018 Diversity & Inclusion Program sponsored by Microsoft.  

If you are heading to Las Vegas, May 21-23, 2018 for SharePoint Conference NA 2018, mark your calendar for our Diversity & Inclusion Programming all week at the event. 

Roadwarrior Travel Maven Tips & Tricks

I always look at my Camelback and suitcase with nothing but unadulterated excitement.  Where are we going next?  I often say passport, AMEX, sunglasses, nap blanket and my phone and I can go anywhere... Where are YOU off to next?  Can I help?  I hope so.  Here are a few tips and tricks for you as summer ends. 

Touching Gatesness

“He is coming!” whisper-yells my colleague. The year is 2002. I’m standing in front of our Global Customer Evidence Booth in New Orleans and I’m about to meet Bill Gates. My life changes today. I’m 30 years old, it’s my birthday week and I am about to start my journey into the world of technology and tradeshows.

#LifeisGood - Notes from a Great Keynote

I had the good fortune to see the lovely and excellent Frisbee-thrower Bert Jacobs , CEO - Chief Executive Optimist (one half of the dynamic sibling duo) who own and run the wonderful company Life is Good.  I love their story, how they run their company and their marketing.  I reference this OneNote page from a couple of years ago quite a bit and there's a ton of goodness that I thought I'd share. Cheers!

Viral Events - What is a @SharePint Event?

With high-tech event season upon us I keep getting asked about this so I thought I'd repost a comment I made on Christian Buckley's blog awhile back.  Being an event producer - I love these events and their viral nature.  SharePint events have no barrier to entry and a strict no vendor policy which keeps things pure and agenda-less.  I have made a few venue calls for a number of these in conjunction with events officially and unofficially shall we say and I agree with many of the "musts" that are being formulated into lists.

-No vendor support.

-No marketing agendas.

-No one owns SharePint. Anyone can start their own SharePint event and recruit others to join.

-No members-only jackets required.

-You may only drink Guinness per Mike Ferrara - great post here

-Use the #sharepint Twitter hashtag and send the info a few times and be super clear about where and when.

-Share the information with speakers or other community members directly for retweets.

Venue Pitfalls:

Because conferences and trade shows are so jam-packed, there is usually only time for one SharePint event and the attendee number will be more than 100 people.  Most bars/venues love their places full of paying customers.  However without either someone local who knows the scene or someone to do a bit of groundwork - you can end up with a venue that isn't big enough,  has bad flow,  not enough standing room, doesn't have enough bar/wait staff or decides to pull out karaoke or trivia in the middle and then no one can talk.

-- is a great resource - you can do a quick search to see if they have a private room or seating for large parties.  Many times these are free you just have to ask.

Finding a Venue & What to Ask Them:

-- What is going on in the bar the night you picked?  If its trivia night or karaoke, and its a one room bar avoid it, no one will be able to talk.

-- Avoid venues that require a contract for a private room, you don't need a private room.

--Alert them of the onslaught of people coming in - they will thank you, may put up a sign and may bring on extra staff.

--Venues that typically have bigger space:  sports bars, any of the Lucky Strike Bowling Venues, Irish or English pubs, venues close to sporting arenas.

--Most people are starving after working an event all day, having a place with the grill open is awesome!

--To register or not to register, this goes back to this being loose and easy, no reg and no fees.

--If guests are cool, tip well, pay their tabs, etc... the venue will remember.  They always do.  The opposite is true though as well.  They remember...

No Pay to Play:  In my opinion, one way SharePint events could get ruined is if an event producer decides to add this to their list of "Sponsored Items" ala they start to sell "SharePint" like they do a breakfast or attendee party as a sponsorship.   Better if someone in the community hosts or sponsors. The only way to combat that would be for the community and vendors to not buy the sponsorship.  Hopefully that doesn't happen, and it stays organic, of the community and for the community.

History:  March 5, 2008 -  "SharePoint By Day, SharePint by Night" - 2nd SharePint happened during the SharePoint Conference 2008 in Seattle.  It was hosted by Bob Fox and Andrew Connell and was held at Kells Irish Pub.  It was a great night and this concept took off from there.  From then notifications about SharePint events were from AC's and other SharePoint MVP blogs.  With the dawn of Twitter and Facebook, the #sharepint hashtag took off and there are now SharePint events being held in and around hundreds of  high-tech conferences and trade shows all over the world.  Joel Oleson recaps that second SharePint event.

 Twitter - Search on #sharepint in and around an high-tech event near you….

Hope this helps those of you who are planning a SharePint!



Head Maven,